Five British DVD Collections You Should Consider

Extra's S2

In America, we’ve been doing pretty well on the whole comedy front for a while nowWe did really well with the likes of The Office, Parks and Rec, and now shows like Modern Family and The Big Bang Theory lead the chargeAnd we at least used to have Freaks and Geeks and Arrested Development.   However, we often forget where the kind of deadpan comedy we all enjoy originated from.  Much of it happened across the ocean, in the UK. So here are five British shows to brush up on if you want to be a true connoisseur of comedy.

Spaced (1999-2001)

Before they became quasi-famous in America for Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost had their own BBC series called Spaced. Kind of like Seinfeld is a show about nothing, Spaced takes that even more literally, with the main two protagonists being a video-game couch potato and a frumpy, out-of-work writer who don’t have a whole lot on their plate.

Pegg and Frost’s longtime cohort, Edgar Wright, shot the show, and if you’ve seen Shaun or Fuzz, you will definitely recognize his style throughout. Spaced only ran two seasons totaling 14 episodes, but that’s how most of these good shows do it on the BBC. Put out two brilliant seasons and quit while they’re ahead.

Peep Show (2003 – 2015)

No, it’s not about porn. “Peep Show” refers to the way in which the show is shot, which is all in first person from the perspective of the various characters, it’s a bit disorienting at first, but it makes the show unique. The show follows two roommates, stiff suit-and-tie Mark and slacker musician Jeremy, chronicling their rather depressing lives as they attempt to get laid and survive a generally mundane existence.

Peep Show lasted all the way until 2015.  It waned a bit in its later years, but definitely pick up at least the first three seasons since they’re only six episodes a piece.  If it weren’t for Peep Show, first person filming and looking into the camera shows might not exist.

The Office (2001-2003)

I’m pretty sure that everyone knows that our Office was a direct porting of the original British show, but I know that not many people have actually watched it. Ricky Gervais’s version is just as funny (often more so), but has much more of and edge than the American adaptation. You really hate Michael Scott with a passion, Jim is kind of a friendless loser and he and Pam are downright cruel to Dwight. Yes, I just subbed in all the American names for translation’s sake.

The British Office only ran two seasons (see the two-and-out rule I talked about during Spaced) and had a movie-length Christmas special as well. A must have DVD set for anyone who enjoys laughter.

Extras (2005 – 2007)

I think I’m one of the few people who actually liked Extras more than The Office. In Gervais’s second series, he plays an extra who rises to D-level celebrity status after filming a campy pilot for the BBC. The show features some of the greatest self-depreciating celebrity cameos ever, the best being Orlando Bloom, Daniel Radcliffe and Clive Owen.

Extras also ran two seasons with a bonus Christmas special, but rumors of another special have been floating around. Let’s hope so, anything Gervais does is gold. Hell, even Ghost Town was a damn good movie.

Top Gear (1978-Present)

Clarkson, the Hamster and Captain Slow are without a doubt the best hosts of any show in any country. Even if you don’t like cars, the show is hilarious and is one of the most popular programs in Britain. Top Gear has been running for over thirty years, but this latest iteration has by far been the best. If you think that a car being skeet shot with a rocket launcher is your idea of a good time, you should probably pick up a season or two. You won’t regret it.

Leave a Reply

How to Train Your Dragon 2
Netflix Comings and Goings: September 2016
Why Netflix, Hulu & Amazon May Never Succeed at Live Sports
Al Roker on Ryan Lochte
Ryan Lochte Lied: Why We Love Al Roker Losing it With Billy Bush
The Voice Season 11 Preview
The Voice Season 11 Preview: Miley Cyrus & Alicia Keys – Keeping it Real
Deadshot and Harley
‘Suicide Squad’ Sets More Box Office Records, Beats ‘Civil War’
Archive 81
‘Archive 81’: An Interview with the Creators of the Horror Audio Drama, Daniel Powell & Marc Sollinger
Jared Leto as the Joker, laughing in the faces of critics.
‘Suicide Squad’ Shatters August Record for $135M Opening Weekend
Jared Leto as the Joker, laughing in the faces of critics.
‘Suicide Squad’ Soars with $65.1M Friday, Now Heading Toward $150M Opening Weekend
Leslie Jones "War Dogs" premiere 8/3/16
When Racism and Sexism Are Online Terror: The Attacks on Leslie Jones
What Are Twitter Users’ #7favfilms?
The Star Trek 50th Anniversary Blu-ray Set Has 30 Discs
The Star Trek 50th Anniversary Blu-ray Set Has 30 Discs
Hollywood: Women in Movies From Past to Present
Kehlani, "Gangsta"
Check Out the New Music Video for Kehlani’s ‘Gangsta’ from ‘Suicide Squad!’
Suicide Squad: The Album
‘Suicide Squad’ Soundtrack Is the Best of the Summer: Review
Jared Leto as the Joker
Jared Leto Returns as Joker in ‘Purple Lamborghini’ Music Video for ‘Suicide Squad!’
Galactic Empire
Why Star Wars Fans Should Be Paying Attention to Galactic Empire
Sports News
The Best Lessons From the 2016 Olympics Opening Ceremony
The Top Five Moments in NBA Playoffs History
Your Official Guide to Watching the Masters Tournament on TV
Austin X Games
X Games Austin 2016 Has an Amazing Sports and Music Lineup

Get more stuff like this
in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.